Laura Oakes Hosts - With Katy Hurt & Frankie Davies - The Green Note Camden
Laura Oakes Hosts at the Green Note have always been well curated evenings and have steadily built by word of mouth to the point where tonight's event was a sell out, which on a cold January evening so soon after Christmas was no mean feat.
Word of Katy Hurts pre Xmas shows were extremely positive and with her EP "Unfinished Business" about to land, this was an ideal time to catch her before she heads out on a massive string of dates across the UK. Appearing tonight as a duo with Gab Zsapka on guitar and backing vocals Katy kicked off the evening with "Drink". On record it is a big production number, tonight in its stripped down format it stood up well, with Katy almost acting out some of the lines with a well placed point of the finger. The next song "Sleeping Next To You" initially had Katy providing percussion by hitting her guitar, before then playing it on the bright and breezy chorus with the line "i'm incomplete and I don't know what to do". It also had a nice John Waite reference that 80's pop fans can listen out for! There were debuts for a couple of new songs "Heartless" and "The World Ain't Waiting On Me", the latter of which heralded the first singalong of the evening. If "Drink" sounded different in this acoustic format "See Ya Later" the big pop production single of last year was totally transformed and seemed even better song for being freed of its pop trappings. The highlight of the set though was "Unfinished Business", and it is easy to see why it is the title track of the new EP, lyrically there are a number of flourishes that make it stand out and it is the sort of song that Katy absolutely excels at delivering.
Katy Hurt tour dates available at https://www.katyhurt.com
Frankie Davies chose to eschew the stool and performed her set standing, stating that it would be all from her new album "Wherever I Go" which seems to have been an eternity in the making. She chose to open with what has become known as the "stalkers song" actually titled "High On Love" where she sings about being "together not just in dreams!". Next up was the title track "Wherever I Go" followed by the ever excellent "Front Row Seat" capturing the perils of performing to just one person - no worries tonight as in a packed Green Note there was an outstanding round of applause. as she completed the final lines. Introducing "All My Love" as her sassy song, a different style of delivery and a different sort of song tackling the issue of catcalling. Frankie was fairly self deprecating all evening and on "Asking for A Friend" detailed a number things that may or may not have happened such as "is it normal to be thinking about wine on a Monday morning about half past nine"!! Frankie had a sweet habit of ending each song on a gentle giggle and when "The Sweetest Sound" became the second audience participation song of the evening with the audience really picking up and playing their part very well, there was indeed plenty to smile about. It had been a while since Frankie has played London and hopefully that will be something that occurs on a more regular basis in 2019.
Frankie Davies album "Wherever I Go" is available now on all platforms.
Having now done a few of these events Laura Oakes chose to freshen up her sound for her latest by switching out her guitarist for a keyboard player. It was a move that really changed how her songs sounded and certainly suited some of the new songs performed tonight. Kicking off with "Don't Let It Hit Ya" and "Better In Blue Jeans", the sound instantaneously gave the songs a completely different feel however although the backing might be different Laura's voice remained a constant and was still on top form. There was an excellent "Old Ghosts", where for the first verse it was just Laura and her guitar which was a special moment - a whole set of just Laura and her guitar is something she should definitely consider for a future evening. "Nashville Stole Your Girl" took on an almost jazz like feel with the new line up, while a new song "Learn To Be Lonely Again" again showed Laura playing solo with a song we'll be hearing lots more of. It is full of little details like "you always lock the door" and immediately announced itself as being something you wanted to hear again as soon as possible. Another new song "How Big Is Your World" also had a late night jazz vibe to it and bodes well for a 2019 release. An encore of "Snakes and Ladders" brought an excellent evenings entertainment to a close.
Each of the ladies on display this evening seem set to have an exciting year ahead of them and the pressure will now be on Laura to come up with the another batch of artists for the next sell out Laura Oakes Hosts at the Green Note.